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Bodyguard of Lies

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  217 ratings  ·  30 reviews
I Origins of Special Means '38-42: 1Ultra 2Coventry 3Special Means Operational 4The Search for a Strategy 5Alam Halfa 6El Alamein
II Roots of Conspiracy: 1Canaris 2The Schwarze Kapelle 3Friend or Foe 4The Plot Begins 5The Outbreak of War 6Conspiracy at the Vatican 7The Venlo Incident 8Adroit Intrigue 9Canaris at Work 10The Assassination of Heydrich 11Operation Fla
Hardcover, 947 pages
Published October 28th 1975 by Harper & Row (NYC) (first published 1975)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 515)
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Jill Hutchinson
The title of this book is taken from a quote by Churchill...."In war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies". And this book is about those lies that were used to mislead, betray, and sacrifice during the time leading up to D-Day. The London Controlling Section (LCS) took the lead in creating full scenarios of battles that never happened and troop movements that were non-existent. They flooded Europe with rumor in bits and pieces that were intended, w ...more
Bob Mayer
When I arrived for my first Special Forces assignment, my battalion commander gave me a copy of this book to read. It's a superb look at the covert operations during World War II by the British and, lesser so, the Americans.
This book helped give me the paranoid mindset someone operating in the covert world needs to have. You have to consider whether every mission you are given is what it appears to be.
The title comes from a saying by Winston Churchill, that I like so much, I used it for the titl
John Pye
The tag line 'The extraordinary true story behind D-Day' hints at only small part of the amazing content of this masterpiece by Anthony Cave Brown. It was first published in 1972 and my early and tattered copy is a treasured possession. I believe it to be one of the first publications to divulge the breaking of the German Enigma codes and also discusses amazing misinformation operations such as Mincemeat and other daring ideas dreamed up by SOE.
Heydrich, Canaris and others come under the microsc
This book is not one to be breezed through, but to be savored and slowly digested. As other reviews have described, the book is packed with information which the author artfully ties together, integrating details of spy tradecraft, the art of subterfuge, personalities and personnages that will fascinate. The book, while ostensibly about Enigma, the ultrasecret, so vital to the Allied victory in WWII, there is so much more. For example, there is a great deal about Canaris, whom I'd heard of, but ...more
Anthony Cave Brown's Bodyguard of Lies is a stunning look at World War II and all the secrets, mistakes and successes, both planned and accidental, leading up to D-Day, the invasion of Normandy and the ultimate end of Nazi Germany.
In the beginning, if it had not been for Alan Turing, a half genius, half childlike British experimenter, World War II would have been even harder for the Allies to fight and to win. Turing, whose story has been made into the movie, "The Imitation Game," broke the Ge
Herb Hastings
This is a well written and researched history book that reads like a thriller. Essentially, it is a sad story of people scurrying around trying to avoid World War 2. They fail and the resulting war is catastrophic for the tens of millions of people killed, maimed, displaced, and destroyed. Surprisingly, the saddest figures are the anti Hitler German Generals who tried to overthrow the madman. They kept trying to bring England into their plots but were rebuffed because they weren't trusted and sa ...more
An amazing account of the events and planning that led to the D-Day invasion at Normandy. There were several deception operations underway to prevent the Nazis from discovering the true location and time of the invasion, in order to give the Allies a chance to succeed. Operation Mincemeat is one of the more famous deception plans, whereby the British took a patriotic corpse (with the family's permission), dressed him in a British military uniform, and gave the body a briefcase full of war plans ...more
Jane Eales
I was thrilled to be referred to this book when I was researching and trying to make sense of my birth mother's spying story in World War Two. Many questions were answered. It is an extraordinary account of World War Two military intelligence history, and is a book i will treasure because of the insights it gave me, it is a book I dip into again and again for information. I hate war and this brings into sharp focus the futility of war and that man's inhumanity to man knows no bounds.
This is a mind-blowing account of the role that deception, espionage, and cryptography played in the European theater of WWII. It's incredibly well researched and detailed and comes in at over 900 pages. There were so many incredible stories in here and I gained a whole new perspective on the war. The only downside for me was that it was so detailed that mind started feeling numb after a while. There are hundreds of people described so no chance that I could remember it all. If you like military ...more
Aug 30, 2013 Betty rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: spy, war
Whew, finished Book One. Since this was published in 1975 so soon after the release of info on Enigma, I'm guessing that there is more to be learned and possibly some corrections to be made. Even so, this book is a valuable encyclopedia of successes and failures of WWII deceptions. With the exception that you can't read an encyclopedia and Brown has given us a highly readable account. I can't imagine anyone interested in WWII not reading this book.
Erik Graff
Sep 06, 2013 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: WWII/espionage fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
I read this book because I'd liked Brown's book about British Intelligence and because Father had been a cryptanalyst in both theatres of the second world war.

Although focused on the intelligence services of the UK, USA and Germany leading up to and through the Normandy invasion and subsequent Allied breakthrough, this book actually ranges more widely to include background material necessary to understand the successful mechinations before D-Day.
I had not heard of this book before. I was rummaging around a parking lot book sale, bought it for a dollar. From the moment I picked it up I couldn't put it down. I found the book compelling, informative as well as illuminating a good read for any one wanting to know more about history
Churchill: "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." This account of the Enigma machine, the plot within German high command to assassinate Hitler, and the coordinated deception in WWII, truly reads stranger than fiction.
Always fascinating, sometimes frustrating (from a historical "WHY" perspective), incredibly detailed and very well written.

It's the story of the intelligence war between the allies (mainly the British) and the axis during WWII, with a focus on D-Day.
Excellent book about the subterfuge and espionage during WWII. A must read for any WWII buff. Extremely well written. Covers everything from code-breaking to double agents.
Aug 27, 2008 Walker rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Andy
Shelves: raids-ww-ii
Britain were superb at fooling the Nazis: General George Patton commanded FUSAG aimed at Calais across the Channel. All not true, but sold to the Nazizs as true.
Mar 19, 2013 Trevor rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cryptonomicon fans
Fascinating look into the "cloak-and-dagger" operations of World War II, especially for the European theatre of war from an American/British perspective.
The extraordianary story of how the allies prepared for D-Day and the clandestine war of deception that hid their efforts from the Germans.
Jerry Bullard
This was really an exciting, tension filled read. There was enough espionage material contained in this book for at least 20 movies.
Ivan Rees
It was amazing the amount of lies and deception that went behind Operation Overload.A damn good read.
William Blair
Outstanding! One of the best World War II boks I've ever had my hands on. Review to follow.
In my opinion, the best book about the spy game during WWII. Be prepared with a strong stomach!
Superb. Lots of detail and you may swim in it for a while, but he always brings you back.
Proof that reality can be more interesting than fiction
Paul Holloway
Bodyguard of Lies Volume I by ANTHONY CAVE BROWN (1975)
Nick Gayeski
Tremendous history of the intelligence work behind WWII
Dec 21, 2008 Bijan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bijan by: JJD
Must Read for everyone
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